The NFL may gift the LA Rams a huge boost to salary cap space

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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The annual NFL salary cap announcement is a rather well established event. The report of how much NFL teams can spend is one of the true prerequisites to the annual NFL Free Agency market. Not only does reporting what the number will climb to allow NFL teams to lock in their hard budget number to spend in the new NFL season, but agents and players leverage the percentage growth of one year to the previous year as a sort of inflationary index to target their fair market value in the upcoming negotiations.

So it is safe to say that even beyond the normal curiosity of NFL fans, there is a lot at stake with the new salary cap, and how much money NFL teams are permitted to spend as a result. But there are complications to that number as well.

For starters, each NFL team is permitted to carry over any excess funds from the previous season that were unspent as a result of the previous season. Per, for the LA Rams that carry-over amount is projected to be just shy of $7.7 million. Projected because there are still other factors at play. The other factor is the application of Proven Performance Escalators (PPEs).

PPEs are regulated escalators that kick in for rookies who were not selected in Round 1 (so all Rams players on rookie contracts may be eligible) and who have outperformed their contracts. These contract escalations impact the player's fourth year in the NFL. For the LA Rams, players who were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft are now up for PPEs. They are:

  • WR Ben Skowronek
  • WR Tutu Atwell
  • DT Bobby Brown III
  • ILB Ernest Jones

Beyond that, there is the calculation and application of incentive clauses. Incentives come in two categories: Likely To Be Earned (LTBE) and Not Likely To Be Earned (NLTBE). LTBE incentives are charged against the current year salary cap, while NLTBEs are charged off against the following year's salary cap. What is the difference? A 1000 yard incentive clause for a running back can be either. If the player ran in excess of 1000 yards in the previous year, then the incentive clause falls into the LTBE category. If the player did not run for 1000 yards in the previous year, then that incentive falls into the NLTBE category, and will impact the follow year's salary cap.

But there are more factors to factor in as well. Let's pivot to PPE's, and how they may impact the Rams salary cap for 2024:

What will the NFL set as the base 2024 NFL salary cap?

  1. Let's discuss PPEs and how they work
  2. So how much can teams spend in 2024?